Remarks: One of the best reasons, if you even need a reason, to visit the historic Spencer Shops can be seen right here, ACL #501. Built in November 1939, this video is posted on 501's 70th anniversary...that's *70* years for one of only two E3's built for ACL's Champion service between Miami & New York still in existence (from a total of only 17 produced for any railroad). When the locomotive was retired from revenue service in 1970, it racked up well over 6 million miles on the road...that's six *million*. It remained in private ownership until 1998, when NCDOT purchased it & loaned it to the museum in Spencer for all to enjoy.
Having said all of that, it rarely makes mainline runs & this year's trips were complete & outright luck of the draw as scheduled/advertised N&W equipment failed to arrive in time. So, enjoy these very rare minutes of video on ACL 501 doing what she does best...run trains!
I have to agree with the previous comments -- a beautiful locomotive like that deserves an equally beautiful horn. A classic Leslie S5T or Nathan M5 would be perfect.
Posted by Chris on June 19, 2010
I went to an antique store and picked up an old book that had a photograph taken in downtown Ashford, Alabama the way it looked back in the 1960's. The Atlantic Coast Line RR ran the "Bow Line" through Ashford. The picture had the old railroad crossing by the old depot, and there were two Griswold cantilever signals. I believe that the 501 saw service on the "Bow Line" through Ashford and stopped at the station. I agree that the horn does sound plugged-up, but even good horns do go bad sometimes.
I used to see 501 in Sarasota Florida doing the Tampa-Sarasota run. I believe it had a 5 chime nathan horn and not the one that is currently on it. It sounded much better and was painted black with yellow stripping back then. Nice to see it is still around and running.
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